Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor
The Airbag Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor (Part #11) is something that very often goes faulty. I happened to me a short while ago and I had it repaired from BMW at a total cost of £307 (£80 was for the part). Even if I were to take it to my own private mechanic, he didn't quote too much less either as it is apparently a time consuimg job. The worst thing is that 1.5 years later the same mat has become faulty again.
Photo Courtesy of RealOEM.com
Electronic parts bought from or fitted by BMW carry a 2 year warranty, so when I spoke to them, they said yes, it is covered under warranty, however there will be a £165 (1 hour labour charge) diagnosis charge to first assess what is wrong!
No way I am willing to throw away £165 every 1.5 years, so the other viable solution I found is a Passenger Seat Occupancy Mat Sensor bypass module. There are various such modules available on the market, and some apparently simply disable the air bag / suppress the fault light, and when you have an accident, the air bag will not deploy. I suppose many people use these for when they are selling their cars and want no fault lights showing.
The one I have found on eBay 'seems' t work differently, i.e. it permanently shows the passenger seat at occupied, so it will deploy even if no one is sitting there - which I don't mind, as at least it will work when the passenger is sitting.